A Jewish agency says anti-Semitic remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad contributed to rising anti-Semitism in Canada. Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada have quadrupled over the past decade, according to the League for Human Rights of B’nai B’rith Canada. More than 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents were reported to the league in 2007, up from 240 in 1998, the league said in its annual “Audit of Anti-Semitism.” The 2007 figure also represents an increase of 11.4% over 2006, when 935 incidents were reported. The incidents ranged from the firebombing of a synagogue during Passover to the vandalism of homes with anti-Semitic graffiti.
St. Petersburg prosecutors have ordered two principals who failed to report students’ ties to neo-Nazis be punished. One of the students was later charged with murder, leading to scrutiny from local officials who discovered that the school administrator had not reported him, according to the Regions.ru Web site. School officials are obligated to inform municipal officials about neo-Nazis attending their schools, one of several efforts to combat the groups’ influence. Students showed up at school with shaved heads and clothing associated with neo-Nazi groups in Russia. One of the students brought to school neo-Nazi literature and Nazi artifacts he had unearthed in battlefields around the city. A St. Petersburg court also sentenced six anti-fascists for their part in an attack on a rally held by one of Russia’s most xenophobic groups, leading to questions of whether the punishment was fair. The six youths are part of movement who push back, often violently, against neo-Nazi youths in Russia.
Belgrade – A building housing the Serbian Roma Union party’s headquarters was vandalized overnight with painted threats, curses and swastikas, the group said Friday. Rajko Djuric, the party’s president, blamed a “fascist” mood of intolerance reminiscent of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime as hardline nationalist politicians seek to form Serbia’s next government. “I’m not surprised by this, having in mind the country we live in. We live in a pig sty,” he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Unidentified people painted swastikas and wrote insults on the building in downtown Belgrade during the night. Police were investigating. Djuric used to be a member of parliament, but his party won too few votes to get seats in the new legislature Serbs elected on May 11. Anti-Roma actions are not uncommon in Serbia. A Roma boy was killed several years ago by a group of skinheads. Last October, neo-Nazis planned a march in Novi Sad, a city that was the scene of a 1942 Nazi massacre of Jews, Serbs and Roma during World War II.
A Bratislava district court today acquitted Michal Lassak, a leading official of the nationalist Slovenska pospolitost (Slovak Community) association, of racist attack charges due to the lack of evidence. According to the charges, Lassak brutally attacked a dark-skinned man on a tram in Bratislava in 2000. Nevertheless, one of the principal witnesses, an elderly doctor from Bratislava, refused to testify in court about the incident, in fears of his safety. The victim was not able to identify Lassak clearly. “There are more doubts than pieces of evidence to prove guilt in this case. The court was not able to clearly state that the accused man had committed the act,” a judge said. The prosecutor insists on Lassak’s being guilty.
Most stories about racist attacks in Ukraine take place in large cities, but a May 21, 2008 article in the Donetsk regional newspaper Vostochny Prospekt profiles these issues in Kramatorsk (population 200,000). While the incidents described in the piece hardly match the seriousness of the multiple assaults and murders in Kiev and other, larger Ukrainian cities, the article is evidence that the neo-Nazi movement is spreading beyond the big population centers to smaller cities, much like it started to do seven years ago in Russia.
Lithuanian Jewish leaders called on the state to prosecute those who propagate racial and ethnic hatred. The Conference of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, which represented 25 organizations, expressed deep concern about the rise in anti-Semitism and xenophobia in the country. “As loyal citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who have always supported Lithuania’s independence and Euro-Atlantic integration processes, we feel the responsibility to bring Lithuania’s attention to the fact that anti-Semitism, discrimination and any other forms of intolerance hurt a country’s reputation,” it said in a statement May 18.
Former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was reported Thursday to have escaped from attempts to put him on trial in the UK over alleged ‘war crimes’ committed during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Environmental campaigner George Monbiot tried to make a citizen’s arrest as Bolton ended an hour-long discussion at the Hay Literature Festival in Wales on Wednesday night but security staff were said to have intervened. Monbiot, a 45-year old author, academic and political activist, earlier challenged him on why, in planning, preparing and waging war against Iraq, he was any different from Nazi war criminals condemned at Nuremberg for alleged breaches. But according to the Guardian newspaper, he was bundled out of the tent where Bolton was speaking.
In Queens, New York, Nicholas Minucci, a Caucasian, fractured the skull of African American Glenn Moore with a baseball bat and robbed him in June 2005. Witnesses testified that Minucci used a racial slur before and during the attack. In October 1998, near Laramie, Wyoming, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney robbed, beat, and tied Matthew Shepard, a gay man, to a fence. Five days after the attack, Shepard died from his injuries. In Houston, Texas, David Tuck attacked and sexually assaulted a Hispanic teenager with a pipe in April 2006. Tuck shouted “white power,” raised his hand in a Nazi salute and yelled racial slurs during the attack.
Immigrants are under attack from the resurgent Right – and even from vigilante mobs Italy: Italian Carabinieri raid a Romanian Gypsy camp in a Roman suburb.Is Italy succumbing to a wave of racism and xenophobia under its new centre-right Government? To Senada Salkanovic it looks that way: as she cuddles her daughter Brenda, 7, on the step of her shack at a Gypsy camp on Via Casilina, on the eastern outskirts of Rome, she wonders where she and her six children will go when the bulldozers arrive. The rubbish-strewn camp, consisting of wood and corrugated-iron cabins and dilapidated caravans, sits next to a disused airfield and is due for demolition as part of a new crackdown on illegal immigration and crime. Already nearly 40 huts have been dismantled, and 150 of the camp’s 800 inhabitants have left. “Where are we supposed to go?” asks Senada, who came to Italy from the former Yugoslavia 20 years ago. Her makeshift home, equipped with cupboards, a sink and a stove, is neat and well kept, in contrast to the dusty squalor outside. “They say we are all thieves, but I work as a cleaner.”
A May 7 murder of an Uzbek couple in Moscow was the work of neo-Nazis, the May 22, 2008 edition of the national daily Moskovsky Komsomolets reported. Matlyuba Axkhemtova, age 42, and her husband Ukhtam Rofeev, age 47, were found dead on Konstantinov Street. Both were manual laborers who met after work to walk home together. Their killers–ages 17 and 19–stabbed them to death.